The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Exhibition at The FLAG Art Foundation focuses on Ellsworth Kelly's mastery in black and white
Ellsworth Kelly, Two Blacks and White, 1993. Oil on canvas, three joined panels, 77 x 157.5 inches (195.6 x 400.1 cm). Courtesy of Matthew Marks, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, The FLAG Art Foundation is presenting Ellsworth Kelly, curated by Jack Shear, President of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, on view February 23-May 19, 2018, on its 9th floor. The exhibition focuses on Kelly’s mastery in black and white, and includes rarely-seen drawings, paintings, photographs, and sculptures made in the first and last decade of the artist’s career.

Renowned for his use of bold, monochromatic planes of color, Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015) created a fifth of his oeuvre in black and white. Art historian and critic David S. Rubin noted that Kelly is “[…] essentially a color painter who considers black and white to be colors.”1 This limited, high-contrast palette allows for an increased focus on form and spacial relationships, which “intensifie[s] the abstraction by further removing the image from its natural coloration.”2

Organized in intimate mise-en-scènes that focus on individual bodies of works, the exhibition presents 29 pieces that highlight the role of experimentation within Kelly’s practice. FLAG’s south gallery is solely dedicated to plein air drawings from 2005, which capture the dramatic rock formations of Belle-Île, an island off the northwest coast of France. This suite of landscape drawings points to an improbable synchronicity between Kelly and Claude Monet (1840-1926), who made numerous paintings of the region’s dramatic coastline. These drawings are complimented by a series of photographs from 1950, on the corridor wall. Shot on a borrowed Leica camera in Meschers, France, the photographs explore the interplay of light, shadow, and pattern on stacks of bricks, beach cabanas, local vegetation, and architectural fragments.

FLAG’s north gallery features three small studies from 1959 (York Study, Slip Study, and Falcon Study), each of which is marked by jagged-edge, curvilinear forms—compositions that portend Kelly’s later, relief paintings Two Blacks and White, 1993, Black Relief with White, 2005, and White Diagonal Relief, 2006, also on view. A painted aluminum model for the artist’s final sculpture Double Curves, 2015, explores the “interaction and interdependence”3 of positive and negative space, while simultaneously creates the illusion of another iconic Kelly shape: the totem. Directly across the room, White Plaque: Bridge Arch and Reflection II, 2011, renders a negative space and its reflection into a physical form. Site-specificity is an unlikely concept when considering Kelly’s practice; yet time and again, the artist would return to certain locations to capture details of that place: an iron gate in Paris (Gate-Board, 1950); sunlight through a canopy of leaves (Charmettes II, 1956); and ripples on the Nile River (River II, 2004).

Shear’s eclectic selection of disparate and little-known bodies of artwork emphasizes Kelly’s evolving and experimental creative practice: “Being involved in Ellsworth’s artistic and personal life for 32 years, I have a way of knowing the work differently than anyone else does. What I tried to do with the exhibition is to show the range of Ellsworth’s work and conceptual ideas. I hope to surprise.”

FLAG’s Founder Glenn Fuhrman states, “Kicking off the celebration of FLAG’s 10th anniversary, I’m honored Jack Shear curated this personal tribute to Ellsworth Kelly. My wife Amanda and I have countless happy memories of visiting Jack and Ellsworth in Spencertown, NY, and we were both deeply affected by Ellsworth’s incredible art and the personal moments we shared with him and Jack. Ellsworth’s influence continues to be seen in a new generation of artists. I’m excited to expand on the dialogue with a simultaneous exhibition Painting/Object, on view on FLAG’s 10th floor, which includes new and recent works by Sarah Crowner, N. Dash, Sam Moyer, Julia Rommel, Erin Shirreff.”

1 Leonardo da Vinci, Treatise on Painting, cited in David S. Rubin, “Black and White Painting: An Historical Perspective,” in Black and White Are Colors: Paintings of the 1950s-1970s, ed. David W. Steadman and David S. Rubin, exh. Cat. Montgomery Art Gallery, Pomona College, Claremont, CA; Lang Art Gallery, Skripps College, Claremont CA (Claremont, 1979), pp. 5-39, esp. p. 17.
2 John Coplans, Ellsworth Kelly (New York, 1971), p. 21.
3 Ibid., p. 17.

Today's News

February 25, 2018

Exhibition displays around sixty figure-based works by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot

Sugimoto gives Washington's Hirshhorn a facelift with ancient tree

Hunting for the woman in the 'African Mona Lisa'

The Museo del Prado takes an exhibition on Velázquez to Japan

Exhibition at The FLAG Art Foundation focuses on Ellsworth Kelly's mastery in black and white

Romanian sex docudrama 'Touch Me Not' wins Berlin Golden Bear

Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech exhibits work by Moroccan couturier Noureddine Amir

'If So, What?': A new fair pairing art and innovation arrives in the Bay Area

La maison rouge opens exhibition of black dolls from the Deborah Neff Collection

PinchukArtCentre opens an exhibition by Dineo Seshee Bopape, the winner of the Future Generation Art Prize 2017

1950 race car with competition history for sale with H&H Classics at Duxford March 21

The International Center of Photography announces 2018 Infinity Award winners

Kopeikin Gallery presents photographs, video, and a Twitter-based project by Kevin Cooley

Exhibition marks the 25th anniversary of Paul Guiragossian's death

Africa Is No Island: Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden opens new exhibition

Galeria Curro opens Cristina Garrido's first solo exhibition in Guadalajara

Contemporary artist Alex Janvier celebrated in major retrospective at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery

Celestial landscapes and falling figures lead Saffronart's Evening Sale

Pearls and Pearlshell: Stunning exhibition features Australia's pearling heritage

Jonathan LeVine Projects opens an exhibition of new work by Daniel Agdag

The Ringling premieres first survey of Toni Dove's interactive performance and installation work

The opera comes to Georgia Museum of Art

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful